Friday 17 January 2020

The Danger of Walking into any Random Temple You Encounter Part 1

Image : Yakshini reared by the chief priest of a popular temple in Malaysia. This is not uncommon in Malaysia. In many Devi temples, the actual presiding entity could be a Yakshini or Pishachini, in the guise of the deity like Kali or Mari.

Malaysia is a prominent hub for folk worship. We have inexhaustible shrines that cover our tropical landscape.

Contrary to Agamic Temples ( temples built in accordance to protocol or guideline  as instructed by scriptures ), folk shrines are very much simpler in design and they do not submit to any fixed protocol or rule.

Nadukkal worship - this was how folk deities were worshiped originally. There was no form. Form worship in folk culture is something recent. There was no 'Munishwaran' as well. The deities were called Muniandy or Muniappan at most. The flexibility of folk shrines is reflected here.

Today, you will find shrines that house both Vedic and folk deities in a unique diversity across the nation. For example, a temple with Munishwara as the presiding deity with Subrahmanya and Ganapati as retinue deities. These temples do not submit to any Vastu as well. They can be near waterfalls, beside the road, within forests, cemeteries, etc 

The features of the temples are not fixed. In other words, these come under freestyle shrines influenced by acculturation where a devotee establishes a shrine and designs the deity and mode of worship as he likes. You will find Hindu folk deities amalgamised with Malay and Chinese features as well.

Image: Lion-headed Munishwara in Ulu Sawah Val Muni temple.

Folk Deities Are Easy to Invoke

Folk deities manifest intensely in the physical plane. It is very easy to invoke them to have their presence. Furthermore, they are fluid - you can easily install a folk deity under a simple hut by the roadside and have Him / Her actively functioning there with simple rituals and prayers.

Jalan Baru Muniandy Temple, Penang - one of the few folk deity temples in Malaysia built as per Shaiva Agamas.

However, the flexibility of such shrines also makes them very volatile. 

The truth is, a lot of shrines in Malaysia do not really house the presented deity.

Just visualize yourself driving through a rural interior and stumbling upon a shrine by the roadside. You decide to visit it. You see it being named as a Muni temple. The hut seems to house idols of Muni, Karuppar, and Veeran quite typically.

Now contemplate within. What is the guaranteeing factor that the temple actually houses the mentioned or illustrated deities? Just because you see an idol with six-packs and a machete ?

Spirits impersonating the deity

It is an extremely common phenomenon for non-divine entities to impersonate a deity. This happens when proper consecration ( praNa pratishtha ) is not done ( the process of giving the idol life through rituals - thus transforming them into vigraha )

An Agamic Prana Pratishtha or Avahana is not necessary for a folk temple but you take effort to take care of the shrine and ensure that the deity's presence is preserved in the temple. A qualified person must also initiate the foundation of the temple.

Folk deities can naturally preside in a shrine provided you do the necessary rituals and associate with them on a daily basis. You cannot expect the same in a shrine that is barely taken care of or attended to - which is somewhat the undesired situation in a lot of folk shrines in Malaysia. I have seen temples in estates which are attended to only once a year!

Spirits generally sit in such shrines and enjoy the offerings and attention given. They can even confer help to a certain extent, but remember, they are not divine. As such, you can get into severe mishaps and danger.

Spirits sometimes do things in a barter system. They are not interested in your welfare. They provide you with your needs as long as you attend to theirs. At times, they may be vague about their needs. They could even demand your life in return to having your wish fulfilled. Spirits are mischievous and importantly, they are not divine !

The case is the same with shrines that are build within a house. You may see an idol standing, but God knows what's actually residing in it.

This is a reason why people avoid non-agamic temples and oppose the idea of home shrines. The process of consecration and establishing a temple is a big process. You are literally meddling with the infinite cosmic intelligence and condensing it to a space that can benefit the public.

You cannot simply throw a carved rock under a hut and assume the deity installed ( unless of course, you have peaked in devotion to a point where a deity manifests to your simple call ) 

Spirits and Trance

You might have noticed devotees getting into trance during festivals. Ingenuine trance happens with the influence of a spirit - often misinterpreted as divine intervention. Trance can be genuine or ingenuine.

When commoners misinterpret such ingenuine trance as divine intervention, the spirit grabs the opportunity to demand its needs.

Intentional invocation of spirits in an idol 

At times, a spirit is intentionally invoked within an idol. Whoever does it, is very well aware of the nature of the spirit. Such shrines are utilised for oracling or arul vaak - to help devotees envision their future and fate.

The spirit helps give details of devotees who seek help. Many famous personalities in Malaysia use the help of spirits which whisper information to them. The temple infrastructure is just an apple polish. This is in fact a sad scenario in Malaysia.

Visiting such shrines carry a lot of risk as well - because you have to understand that spirits have a very unpredictable nature.

Moreover, such temples are not transparent. You cannot be certain of the rituals that are conducted there. It will be usually utilised for black magic and occult practices. And if you foot into a space like that, you are simply inviting trouble.

Never neglect folk deities

A Muniandy shrine established during the Japanese occupation in Malaya, still vibrant in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.

Nevertheless, never ever neglect our folk deities. Folk worship dates back to a very ancient period and is a cream identity of our culture.

As a lover of folk deities, I just hope folk worship in Malaysia is restored to its authenticity.

I would advise anyone to have a background check before stepping into any random shrine - especially if it is non-Vastu and if you have heard something odd about it.

It may be better to totally avoid a shrine you are unaware of. Many famous temples in Malaysia come under this list, unfortunately.


  1. Absolutely 100 % truth. I listened to a friend.A lady in his house was visiting a muniswaran temple very often and she was attach to the muniswaran very much.

    In real,the thing sitting inside the temple is a spirit.Slowly the spirit started to follow her and this ladies life changed.

    When they went to a shaman,bomoh - the bomoh revealed that a spirit liked her and it was claiming the lady to be its wife.

    Pls only visit a temple with good vibration.

  2. Agree with you. As a person with experience of nearly 30 years in tantric and paranormal research, I too have stumbled upon such shrines. Let me share a recent example. There was a shrine in Batu Gajah which claims that they can connect with your ancestors came to my attention via a friend of mine and he asked me to go and check it out. So one fine Sunday i took a 3 hour drive to that place to check it out. I was greeted by the Sishas (followers) of the so called "Guru" that runs the shrine. tHere were quite a number of out of state visitors who came to do some pujas. I waited for the pooja time at around 7.30pm and saw strange prayers were done including switching off lights during the prayers and drum beating and conch blowing. And after the prayers ended, the Guruji walk up to me and asked why I am there and the reason I came there and so on. This is the 1st time in my life I was questioned why I was coming to a temple. I just answered i came to pray. Then i just queried some of his followers who are mostly young youths about the temple and strangely most of them are hesitant to answer my questions and tried to avoid me. Then the Guru came to me again and tells his rate to do poojas and call yr ancestors etc. I told him my ancestors are fine. This guruji claimed that he is an Aghori, I looked at him and i smiled (coz i know many Aghoris in India) and definitely this guy is not an Aghori as he is claiming. He claims he is upasakar of one particular deity (I am well informed about the deity and I am being modest here) so I just asked a few Tantrik methods of the said deity and he could not answer me and he has absolutely no idea about it.
    As the night gets darker I felt bad vibrations getting stronger so I decided to leave the temple. As i was driving trying to find the main road, in the pitch black my car hit a water filled pothole and my front headlight blew. after finally reaching home, I became slightly ill. That very night a Mohini came and tried to attack me but after realizing I was no ordinary chap she warned me not to come to that temple anymore! So I nodded to her. And I was ill for few days before i did some rituals to remove the bad vibrations and finaly I was Ok. And this year I got news via various sources and via social media that the Guruji was using a Mohini to do all black magic stuff and few police reports were lodged by ex followers(his Sishyhas) against the Guruji for some matters. As such I strongly advise from my experience and others who have shared with me that devotees do not go to temples that are practising certain practices which are against Agamic procedures. Don't go to temples middle of nowhere esp inside estates (esp abandoned one) etc.

    1. thanks for your sharing.It is best that people avoid shady temples at any cost.Not all that glitters is gold.

  3. I too have seen the hindu shrine which is at Yishun called Veeramuthu muneeswaram temple. chinese and hindu religions have blended together with the
    whole lot of cooperations i really love to visit again.

  4. Dear Sir, Can you advise me whether I should visit the Sri Shakti Ashram, Tangkak , Johor. Regard to "Danger walking into any temple.....' Parkunan Subramaniam